My Name Is Andy, And I Am A Runner / Where We Go From Here- The Future Of Running My Ass Off

Training is going well, I’m off of the step back week and looking at decent distances this week again. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m glad. I really like knowing that I am heading out for a 10 mile long run on Sunday that is actually long. It’s still insane to me that I like the longer distances. Turns out there was a long distance runner tucked inside me all this time. Who knew?

I started to talk about this line of thinking a while back after I finished my half marathons last fall, but now is as good a time as any to reiterate since it has been on my mind lately. I am finally comfortable with the statement “I am a runner”. Even moreso now than then. I felt like in the beginning I was a guy who was losing weight and using running to help achieve that. It’s a subtle distinction, I know, but in my head, until I accomplished certain milestones and had the confidence to be able to accomplish them the way that I wanted to I hesitated to put myself out there as “a runner”. Suffice it to say, I am now comfortable with the statement. I not only have gotten to where I wanted to be, but I have actually come to really embrace it and enjoy it. That does not mean it’s any easier, by the way. My recent 8 and 9 mile runs completely kicked my ass while I was running them, and I suspect they always will. But the ass kicking is part of the appeal, in a sick and twisted way. That’s a big part of what I like about it: It’s a constant thing. I can always know that the difficulty will be there, and it is always something I have to work for. It’s a constant measuring stick and as I watch myself progress and improve, there is always another step I can take to challenge myself further. Not to mention it has been the open door  and one of the 2 major keys (the other being my diet) to getting my heath back, and I feel like a new person for it. So yes, I am a runner. I’m not that elite/ excellent runner who can go out for a 15-20 mile run and do it effortlessly, oh no. I am the heavy sweating, hard breathing guy who labors out the long runs but still gets them done. It’s now a huge part of my life and I love it. I subscribe to Runner’s World. I have a mental checklist of destination races I want to complete before it’s all said and done, I catch myself plotting out running courses of varying lengths in my neighborhood and surrounding area, I am continually looking to improve myself and find new and better gear that will help me run longer/ faster/ injury free. I am a runner.

Full disclosure, I do have a fear tied into this as well. From my very first run on that November night back in 2011, every run I have gone on has been working towards a goal. I have always had plan to follow and a race to train for. After I get through Broad Street in 26 days, I will be in the unfamiliar territory of being in a position of running just for the sake of running. No heavily structured plan, no lofty goal to hit in the form of a race, just getting out there for the sake of my health and the enjoyment of it. I’m nervous, I suspect primarily because it’s the unknown. But hell, everything I’ve done in the past year and a half has been the unknown and I just felt my way through it, why should this be any different? I may look into a local running group or tap into some friends and see if we can’t put together an informal group ourselves. Only time will tell…(story of my life)

Speaking of looking forward, I have also been thinking of what to do with this blog.
Here’s my fear: I don’t want to keep posting just for the sake of posting. I don’t want to lessen the impact of everything I have accomplished by droning on about the same thing over and over again. Frankly, there is only so many times you can read “Weight is still good. I’m training for XXXXX race. Things are pretty stable and normal.” and not be completely bored to death. It’s been on my mind lately and I have always had the fact that I will have the transition/ adjustment period that I mention above to provide something new and fresh to write about as I figure it all out. In addition to that, this weekend I had a realization. I was at a birthday party for my friends’ son when I had the chance to meet someone who really admired me and everything I’ve done. (Allow me to digress for a second. In case you have not noticed, whenever I talk about other people outside of myself, and maybe Jenn and Tess, I am always intentionally vague. Nothing personal, it’s just that when you see how far each of these posts go, it’s better in my mind to leave the public info public and keep the personal info personal. I’m not in the practice of putting anybody’s personal info out there, because you just never know…) So, back to the party. It was honestly kind of an overwhelming experience to have someone look up to me that much and have such admiration. I say all the time that I want to help and inspire others, but this is the first time the full impact of what is possible has fully hit me. Up until Saturday, everybody I have really helped has already been a friend and the door has already been opened in some capacity. The potential that someone who did not know me at all before all of this could connect to my story so strongly and have it serve as the inspiration/ catalyst for their own weight loss and running is really powerful stuff.

——————-AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION TIME——————-

To that end, I am thinking of creating a series of posts targeted directly at that target audience. The person who is new to all of this and looking to find out what I did, how I did it, and more importantly, what they can take from it all to use for themselves. I have done this a few times in the past with my posts on my Thoughts on MyFitnessPal and Couch To 5K, and then again with my Top 12 Lessons I’ve Learned, but by and large the content of this blog has been a first hand account of everything as I have experienced it with the intention that the process, struggles, and victories speak for themselves. It’s been just out there at face value. I want to do more of these specific types of posts, aimed at the beginners that we all are (or were- most likely not all that long ago), but I want to look to you for some help. If this is you, if you are looking to get into everything and trying to make sense of everything, want to know how to start chipping away at a big goal, or have a specific question about anything at all, please feel free to leave it in the comments below. If you don’t want to put it all out there like that, I completely understand. You can email me at: bigandysrunning@yahoo.com with anything you want to know and I will answer you that way as well. I might take the overlying point and make a blog post out of it, but your personal info and specific circumstances will be left out of it. I have a few ideas already but I want to make sure what I am writing about is on topic and relevant to what you really want to see. So please don’t be shy. I’m pretty much an open book, so there is not much I won’t share. Like I’ve said, we’re all in this together. May as well start actively taking a shot at really doing my part to help.

Thanks for reading this, and I’m excited to see how this all takes shape going forward.

Broad Street prep post is coming up next, so until then, take it easy.

Andy

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4 responses to “My Name Is Andy, And I Am A Runner / Where We Go From Here- The Future Of Running My Ass Off

  1. Great post as always. I am actually in a very similar boat to you, and just realized this week that I have been running “for the fun of it” for over a month now. I mean, general health is always important and so on, but I’ve been running without a specific goal in mind other than to… well… run. I entirely enjoy the challenge and peace of hitting my stride and knowing just by the hitch of my breath or the twinge in my legs if I’m running faster than usual.

    So yeah… I guess I’m a runner too. (I have the sub to Runner’s World, as well.)

    I unfortunately don’t have much to add regarding your question, as you’ve already answered these type of questions for me a while back now. I guess the only thing I can really add is that I would love to see product reviews and maybe a tip now and again for experienced (albeit still learning) runners. I know that epiphanies still happen for me, so I would very much enjoy hearing yours when they happen.

    Cheers, and run on!

  2. Hey Clarke,
    I still plan on giving regular updates like I have been, just spacing them out more and mixing them up with the posts I’m soliciting info for now, as well as product reviews. I have tried to ramp up the reviews lately, and I will continue to do so as long as I can get my hands on stuff that I think will be applicable. I envision a mix of the three different types of posts going forward. This way (hopefully) things stay fresh and relevant and it’s not overkill of any one type of information.

  3. Ya know, I’m a blank canvas with questions at the moment, but I will say that I’ve followed your blog for a while now, previously under Plus Size Runner and I enjoy reading that you’re maintaining your weight, and the thoughts that go with that. Also, I think your post are often funny.

  4. So keep posting please.

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